July 12, 2004

Tibet: Contacts Between China, Dalai Lama Encouraging, U.S. Says

U.S. State Department report on Tibet urges dialogue without preconditions
The United States is encouraged by China's invitations to the Dalai Lama's representatives in 2002 and 2003, and hopes that such contacts will continue so that substantive dialogue between the two sides can lead to "a negotiated settlement on questions regarding Tibet," the State Department says.

In its "Report on Tibet Negotiations" submitted to Congress June 23, the State Department said the United States continues "to press both sides to open a dialogue without preconditions."

"We have consistently maintained that questions surrounding Tibet and its relationship to Chinese authorities in Beijing should be resolved by direct dialogue between the Tibetans and the Chinese," the State Department said. "For China to work with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve problems facing Tibet is in the interest of both the Chinese Government and the Tibetan people. At the same time, the lack of resolution of these problems leads to greater tensions inside China and will be a stumbling block to fuller political and economic engagement with the United States and other nations."

The United States does not recognize Tibet as an independent state, according to the report, but it does "maintain contact with representatives of a wide variety of political and other groups inside and outside of China, including with Tibetans in the United States, China, and around the world."

The report also says that the United States has "consistently urged China to respect the unique religious, linguistic, and cultural heritage of its Tibetan people and to respect fully their human rights and civil liberties."

The State Department's "Report on Tibet Negotiations" is required by Section 611 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003, also known as the "Tibetan Policy Act of 2002."

For more information see the report

Source: Phayul.com

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